KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Baltimore Orioles bolstered their bullpen with a late-inning arm Tuesday, acquiring reliever Francisco Rodriguez from the last-place Milwaukee Brewers for minor league infielder Nick Delmonico.
"We're not playing for (anything) here. But going there now, every game is going to count. I've got to be on top of my game now and help them out," Rodriguez said.
Baltimore began the day 21/2; games behind first-place Boston in the AL East. Looking for their second straight playoff appearance, the third-place Orioles had a 11/2;-game lead over Texas for the final AL wild-card spot.
"We were trying to upgrade the pitching to give us a chance to make the run for the AL (East) title and the pennant. So we did what we had to do to help the team now, and we have enough players having good years at the plate," Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said.
"Nick Delmonico shows a lot of promise as a hitter, but the major league club needed a little more depth for our pitching staff to accomplish what we want to accomplish this year."
Baltimore already has a proven closer in Jim Johnson, who was leading the majors with 35 saves. Rodriguez, however, gives manager Buck Showalter another option late in the game.